With the number of different board games that I have played, I have seen games utilizing a bunch of different themes. I can honestly say that I can’t recall ever playing a game before built around the premise of a bag of chips. While unorthodox, I found this to be an interesting idea. This was at least partially due to the packaging, but it also seemed like an interesting twist on the basic press your luck game. Bag of Chips is a fun little press your luck board game that many will likely enjoy, even if the high reliance on luck will turn off some players.
The concept behind Bag of Chips is rather straightforward. In each round all of the players are dealt six cards. Each of these cards could potentially score points depending on what chips are pulled from the bag during the round. Periodically throughout the round after having seen some of the chips, you will discard some of these cards that you don’t think will score points. At the end of the round you will score points from two of the cards that you kept. You can also lose points from the other card you kept. The players that score the most points will receive rewards which will be used to ultimately win the game.
If you would like to see the complete rules/instructions for the game, check out our Bag of Chips how to play guide.
In a way it is kind of hard to exactly describe what it is like playing Bag of Chips. It kind of reminds me of Poker despite the fact that you have no control over the cards/chips that get drawn during the round. Otherwise it feels a lot like a press your luck game where you need to try and play the odds in order to maximize your chances of winning each round.
At its core Bag of Chips is a really simple game. All you are doing is drawing chips from the bag, and then choosing which cards you want to keep. The main gameplay can be taught in a couple of minutes at max. Probably the most complicated element of the game is just remembering the goal of each type of card. After a round or two this shouldn’t be an issue either.
While Bag of Chips is not going to be for everyone, I thought it was a interesting little game. The game is built around analyzing the odds of each card’s objective being met. Then you weigh that against the potential points you can earn if you complete them. The game is a classic decision between risk and reward. Do you choose the safer scoring option that will score you less points, or do you take the bigger gamble to try and score more points?
After the first group of chips go out, it is usually pretty obvious what cards you should discard. You likely will have one or two cards that you either already can’t complete, or its very unlikely that you will be able to complete them. In most cases these are the cards you should discard.
The next round becomes a little more complicated. With more information it should be easier to know what cards you are likely to complete. This is your last opportunity to discard cards though. You obviously want to keep cards that are more likely to score you points. At the same time though, you don’t want to score points from all three cards. If you complete all three cards, you will lose some points from one of the cards. This creates an interesting decision on whether you want to keep a card that you know you won’t be able to complete just so you can guarantee that you won’t lose points. Otherwise you can keep three cards that are more likely to score. Then after the next group of chips, you likely will have a better idea which one will fail.
Your final decision is basically to make a decision on which cards that you will score positive points for, and which you will potentially score negative points for. Sometimes this decision is really obvious as two are likely to score you points while another is not likely. Sometimes you will have to make a hard decision though if all of the cards have a good chance of scoring. This decision could be crucial as it could impact whether you win the round.
Heading into Bag of Chips I was curious how much strategy there would actually be to the game. While I wouldn’t say that it has a ton, I actually think it has more than I initially expected. What cards you choose to keep will have an impact on how well you ultimately do. You never know exactly what will happen, but you can always use odds to guide your decisions.
Ultimately I found Bag of Chips to be a pretty fun little family party press your luck game. It is not the deepest game, but it isn’t trying to be. It was meant to be a game that you could have fun with without having to worry about who ultimately wins.
I think it does a good job with this task. It is fun watching the player choose the new chips, and see how they impact the cards you choose to keep. Especially the last two chips become really meaningful. It is kind of tense to see if the last two chips help you score a lot of points, or simply destroy your round.
Bag of Chips really excels at being the type of game that you can enjoy without having to put too much thought into what you are doing. You just choose your best options and then let it ride. While the two games play very differently, in a way this reminds me of UNO. It is the perfect type of game that you can just play without having to worry about every little decision. The gameplay is quite different, but it is hard to shake that Poker style feeling that the game has.
Bag of Chips is a fun little party/family press your luck style game. It is not perfect though.
The biggest problem with the game is just the fact that it relies heavily on luck. While the game has a decent amount of decisions to make, your fate is ultimately going to come down to luck. If luck is on your side, you likely will win. If it isn’t, you are going to lose. At times this makes it feel like you aren’t really playing the game.
The luck comes from a couple of different areas. The first is the cards that you receive at the beginning of each round. You have no control over what cards you get. In most cases you want to be dealt a variety of different cards as that will increase the odds of you having cards that will actually score you points. If you get a bunch of similar cards and you don’t get the right chips, you won’t be able to score many points no matter what you choose to do.
There is also the fact that some of the cards just seem to be more valuable than others. I am guessing that the point values were based on the probabilities of the different combinations coming up. It just seemed like some types of cards were better than others. In particular I didn’t really care for the cards that only score if the pictured chip was the last chip drawn from the bag. Meanwhile the cards that give you points for each chip of the corresponding type are basically guaranteed to score you some points.
Most of the game’s luck simply comes from what chips ultimately end up being drawn. Unless the player cheats when randomly picking the chips, there is no way to know what chips will be drawn. All you can do is play the odds. This can help, but the odds will not always go in your favor. You could make good decisions throughout the round. Then still score zero points just because you didn’t get the one chip you needed.
Basically to get the most out of Bag of Chips you need to be willing to accept that there is only so much you can do. Luck will ultimately end up deciding who wins each game. You can’t take the game too seriously if you want to enjoy it. This is going to be an issue for some people. I would not recommend Bag of Chips for these people.
Before wrapping up, I wanted to quickly talk about Bag of Chips components. The first thing that is going to stand out is the packaging. The game comes in a plastic re-sealable bag that is quite reminiscent of a bag of chips/snacks. I like when games have fun with their components in order to support the theme. The theme has little to do with the gameplay, but the components utilize it well.
I generally really liked the components of Bag of Chips. The cards and chips are made of solid cardboard, and should last as long as they are decently taken care of. The entire game fits in a little package which is perfect for the game. The bag is quite small where you can easily bring it along with you. There really isn’t much to complain about regarding the components.
Bag of Chips is not going to be for everyone, but I had quite a bit of fun with the game. The game is an interesting take on the typical press your luck/play the odds game. As each round progresses you receive more information. You need to use this in order to analyze the odds that each card will score you points. You then need to choose which cards you will keep. The game is quite easy to play and can be fun if you don’t put too much thought into each decision. The only significant issue with the game is that it relies on a lot of luck. Your fate is going to be determined by things outside of your control. This is not going to be appreciated by some players.
My recommendation for Bag of Chips comes down to your thoughts on the premise. If the theme or the general press your luck/play the odds gameplay doesn’t really intrigue you, I don’t see Bag of Chips being the game for you. Those intrigued by the game though should enjoy it and consider picking it up.
We would like to thank Blue Orange Games for the review copy of Bag of Chips used for this review. Other than receiving the review copy we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation. Receiving the review copy had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.
Bag of Chips
Year: 2021 | Publisher: Blue Orange Games | Designer: Mathieu Aubert, Théo Rivière | Artist: Hervine Galliou, Mathieu Lidon
Genres: Family, Party, Press Your Luck
Ages: 8+ | Number of Players: 2-5 | Length of Game: 15-20 minutes
Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: High
Components: 25 Chips tokens, 36 Cards, 16 Victory Tokens, 4 Board Cards, 1 Recap Cards, Instructions
- Simple and quick little family/party press your luck game.
- Has more decisions than you would think, and it is fun anticipating what chips will be drawn.
- Luck is likely going to determine who ultimately wins the game.
- Some people may find the game to be too simple.
Recommendation: For those who think the premise sound interesting and likes press your luck games.